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Cold Boot

Definition - What does Cold Boot mean?

Cold boot is the process of starting a computer from shutdown or a powerless state and setting it to normal working condition. A cold boot refers to the general process of starting the hardware components of a computer, laptop or server to the point that its operating system and all startup applications and services are launched.

Cold boot is also known as hard boot, cold start or dead start.

Techopedia explains Cold Boot

A cold boot is usually set in motion by pressing a computer's power button. A computer doing a cold boot is already in a shutdown state, wherein no hardware, software, network or peripheral operations are occurring. For the most part, a cold boot is done so that a computer is able to perform standard computing tasks (general use). However, sometimes cold boot is necessary after software and usually hardware troubleshooting.

For example, unlike a warm boot, cold boot flushes not only RAM contents but also clears the caches. This ensures that no traces or instances of conflicting programs or their data are left within the computer memory.

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